Importation of medications from other countries can be reduced to 30% by 2025, according to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Increased local pharmaceutical manufacture, according to the food and drug regulator striving to make it happen, could be the key to making this happen.
Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, revealed this on Wednesday, as she also read the riot to drug makers in Nigeria.
According to Adeyeye, growing domestic medication production will help reduce the availability of substandard drugs and safeguard the safety of the country’s supply of pharmaceuticals.
He said a country’s drug supply will be inadequate if it is heavily dependent on imports, and a country without drug security is not secure in any other way.
The NAFDAC boss said,
“We are using multifaceted approaches to curb substandard and falsified medicine in the country. If a country is over-dependent on importation of medicine, such country will get substandard drugs and if not for COVID-19, we wouldn’t have woken up from our slumber as a country.
“When I started my tenure, local manufacturing of medicine became my focus because when you increase local manufacturing you are not just giving more jobs or increasing the GDP.
“Most, importantly, you are safeguarding the health of the nation because if somebody is falsifying something on Ota, for example, we can get there within one hour and something like that had happened before.
“So, we want to change the 70 per cent importation of drugs into the country to 30 per cent by 2025, so that as a nation we can say we have drug security because we don’t have that now. A country that is not drug secure is not secured in other facets”.
As Adeyeye pointed out, the agency had also increased its grip on the importation of narcotics into the country.
She said, “We have read our riot act to drugs manufacturers who bring their drugs to the country if they want to be friends in trade with Nigeria.
“If they want to be friends with us, they should do what we want and not send what will kill our people and that is why we have tightened shipment of drugs into the country.
“We have been to China and India and now we deal with the lab directly not the agents like what it used to be before.’’
NAFDAC had been on an enforcement drive against substandard drugs or for non-compliance of its policy with the shutdown of some pharmaceutical companies.
It also sometime in August warned Nigerians to beware of social media products even as they destroyed fake, substandard, and unwholesome products worth about N2.5 billion.
The Director-General of the agency said that the social media had been used to advertise spurious substandard, unsafe, and falsified NAFDAC regulated products and lamented that regulated products such as cosmetics, and products for enlargement of burst and buttocks have flooded the social media.